tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 2, 2014 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT
linked. can driveweak economy the budget through the red, a responsible budget can >> if washington is serious about getting families back to work it needs to get serious about our national debt. serious about our national defense. the world has gotten more dangerous. yet, the president wants to cut defense spending. under his budget, the army would shrink to pre-world war i levels. the navy to pre-world war i levels. air force to its smallest size ever. half of the cruise would be in drydock. we would retire the 810 the u2.
if we stay on our current path, we will put both our economy and our national security at risk. we owe it to the country to layout an alternative. every person deserves a fair shot at a brighter future. everyone deserves an america that works. we owe the american people. a balanced budget. by supporting our military, it will help keep our country safe. presidents budget, it never balances. budget balances in 10 years. it puts us on the path to paying off our debt. and grandchildren can inherit a debt-free interest. we stop spending money we don't have. .e make reforms
our critics make all of this [inaudible] but the federal government will spend $48 trillion over the next 10 years three this budget will spend nearly $43 trillion. on the current path, spending will grow on average by 5.2 first percent -- 5.2% a year. nearly $33 trillion is in now. by 3.5%ng spending instead of 5.2% is hardly draconian. under this plan we will expand opportunity by growing our economy. we will provide families with a simple tax code to create jobs. .e will restore we will strengthen the safety nets to help people get back on their feet. we will secure seniors retirement by strengthening
medicare and other programs. our friends might dispute this point. remember. it was obamacare that ended medicare as we know it. it was obamacare that cut $700 billion from the medicare. it was obamacare that set up 15 unelected bureaucrats to ration care for seniors. that is why this budget will repeal obamacare in its entirety. we will and the rate on medicare. we will make changes. as for the next generation, they a numbero choose from of plants of they can find a plan that works best for them. cbo says an approach would lower cost for taxpayers and seniors. it is a win-win. this budget will protect our national security. it is the first responsibility of the federal government. it will provide troops the training and compensation they need.
the budget resolution projects -- the army will maintain its current strength. we will have 11 carriers any full cruiser fleet. willoint strike fighter stay on track. we will fully fund the president's request for veterans affairs. this will keep our national security strong and make our economy stronger. cbo says the deficit reduction in the budget will produce stronger growth over time. by 2024, we -- real economic point will be higher than it would be. $1100 per person. that will grow going forward. after five years of big spending, and little results, we think it is irresponsible to take more from hard-working families to spend more in washington. it is just that simple.
every family must balance the budget. washington should do the same. place,e right reforms in we can strengthen our national security, foster a healthier economy, create jobs, and raise take-home pay. with that, i would like to recognize the ranking member for his opening remarks. likes thank you. let me think the chairman for we structure our debate in a civil way. we have very sharp differences. we will express them clearly purely -- clearly. we have been able to us the business in a civil manner. we agree on one thing. budgets are reflection of our vision for america. they reveal our priorities. they demonstrate what we value. fundamentalut choices for the future direction of our country. the president has presented a budget that will help boost job growth, sharpen america's
competitive edge, expand opportunity, and protect our nation. now we have a republican budget. of all the reckless republican budgets, we have seen, this one is the worst for america. many will argue this budget should not be taken seriously because it will go nowhere in the senate. the public should take it seriously. it tells people exactly what the republican colleagues in congress would do if they had the power to impose their will on the country. what does it mean for america? what choices does it make? at its core, it breaks the rules of the game for wealthy special interests at the expense of everyone else. it cuts tax rates for multimillionaires by one third while a guts investment in our children's future woman squeezes the nano class, and violates commitments to our seniors. china and our economic competitors will eat our lunch the global arena.
as we will see today, it makes historically reckless cuts in areas that help our our economy. research, scientific innovation, manufacturing, and diverse energy sources. it's cuts are staggering 791 billion dollars below the unsustainable sequester level. that takes the investments to 40% lower as the share of our economy and in any time in the last 50 years through republican and democratic administrations. at a time when we should be modernizing our infrastructure, -- by a whopping $52 billion alone.
it will condemn the united states to a potholed road of economic decline. thatjects the one measure could immediately unleash more economic activity and grow our economy. let's dig into these numbers a little bit. starting with our kids education. part about this budget is that it casts a dark shadow over the american dream. it violates the fundamental promise that every hard-working american should have a fair shot at success. at a time when we need to be investing more and our kids education, it slashes funding for education and job training by over 145 billion dollars. that part of the education budget, it then cuts current policy support for higher education by another 200 $5 billion. students who want to go to college will have a very rough time unless they are born to
well-to-do families. it starts charging students interest on their loans while they are in college. wrong by wrong, this budget knocks the steps off the ladder of opportunity. the upper born, cheers to everyone else. those on medicare will immediately pay more. immediately for diagnostic screening and other preventive health services. those with high prescription drug costs will see these donut holes reopen. seniors with high drug costs will pay nearly $1200 more per year on average. millions of seniors will be
especially hurt by the reckless cost of medicaid. this budget cuts to medicaid budget in the last year by 25%. to revealing the medicaid provisions of the affordable care act. at the same time, it ends the current medicare guarantee, forcing seniors to face large premium increases. on top of that, it keeps the medicare sequester cut on health care providers to the tune of $140 billion. middle-class families are hard hit. they will see the tax burden increase. it is as if chairman camps reality-based tax reform bill never existed. it is as if he was being dubbed.
, this one says you will reach 25%. the method doesn't change year to year. if you reduce the top rate for third, yous by one will increase the tax burden on middle income families. budget delivers its cruelest blow to those who were seeking the client out of poverty and into the middle class. most of the postelection cost talking about issues was just that, talk. he wasn'tomney said focused on helping the 47%. weaver member that. this budget sets out to prove that. it is nothing short of an assault on american struggling to stay afloat economically. the cuts to food and nutrition programs. designed to help
people falling into poverty. this gets rid of those safety nets. weaver member the big debate. propose $40s billion. this debate, $125 billion plus cuts to food and nutrition programs. is premised on the false notion that providing struggling families with minimal food and nutrition support saps their willingness to work. innovation -- their motivation. it is no wonder they've groups have criticized past republican budgets as failing to meet basic moral standards. this is the worst yet.
our colleagues say this is necessary. republicanreally paramount concern, why did they refuse to close one single tax break? not one. they say today don't want to pass it onto future generations. they barely know care enough breakthat to reduce a tax for special interest. why place all of the burden of deficit reduction on middle whos, our kids, our seniors make their living earning wages rather than hedge funds and stock options. finally, i have to say this most upsets our public and colleagues, this does not balance. it is a total fraud.
at the same time, republicans have voted a few times to repeal the affordable care act. why? why is that true? all theget includes medicaid savings for the affordable care act. it includes every penny of revenue for the apparent will care act. -- the affordable care act. if you repeal the affordable care act, you are repealing those provisions. what it does is take away the benefits of the affordable care act. it takes away the tax credits and provisions that plug the doughnut hole. it keeps all of the savings and all of the revenue. it does not balance 10 years from now without those revenues. you have to choose. you can't have it both ways. nobody's went to be fooled. either you are in favor of keeping those provisions, or you're going to claim a balanced budget. it is just not true to claim both at the same time.
mr. chairman, we are looking forward to a spirited debate about the choices that are made. we think it is the wrong direction for america. we will have an alternative proposal. the present has put in an alternative. we look forward to a healthy debate about the choices. thank you. >> the ranking member doesn't disappoint. thank you. 50 minutes left , and then a minority. i yield two minutes. >> thank you. the american people know that the path we are on will not work . the economy is not thriving. record deficits continue. the mantra of the vision of trying to divide the country, and not unify the country, continues. the other side seems to be happy with the doldrums in the economic environment. fewer success stories.
jobs living america. borrowing work money from foreign countries. compromising opportunities. we believe there is a better way. real solutions. that is our budget. a responsible, balanced budget. a path to prosperity for all. for defensepending and national security. this is a dangerous world. getting more dangerous by the day. we account for that in our budget. the principal -- the president the sand. head in i recognize health care is [inaudible] our budget positively addresses these issue. we save and strengthen and secure medicare. positive reform. more choices. putting patients at the center. the congressional budget office savesthat our solution
money for both seniors and the government. both. real solutions. another exciting difference between our budget in the president's budget, we understand that a growing economy is vital to getting things back on track. the past five years have been dismal. they haven't helped. the congressional office has evaluated our policies. if we institute our plan, saving over $5 trillion, there will be significant benefit to the economy. cboistic scoring shows the finds that reducing budget deficits is a net positive for growth. deficit reduction creates long-term economic deficits because it increases the pool of national savings. raising economic growth and job creation. these benefits are significant and lasting. this dynamic would reduce budget deficits or increase budget surpluses by $82 billion in 2023.
that is right. with $5 trillion in excess, we would boost the economy. this is an exciting and realistic appraisal of action. i am proud to stand with my fellow budget committee members prepared support of this positive solution. >> now we hear from mr. garrett. -- i thank you. i think the chairman for the work he has put in the budget. american families and businesses have continued to struggle in our country. they struggle against the reality of this economy. years, since five the recession hit, long-term unemployment in this country persists. when job seekers to find a job, they find it is a part time work . that is their only option. rosiery to the
approximations we often hear from the a ministration, the job market is struggling to regain its foothold. that is not me saying this. the existence of such a large pool of unemployed workers is a conditions are worse. this reality is in somatic of a fundamental problem. it is a job destroying trifecta. it is overregulation. it is deficit central. back an economic turnaround. the plan that we will consider
today is a plan for growth. this budget is grounded on basic math. basic mathematical principle that you cannot fix the deficit until you get the budget under control. many have said we need to balance budget plans to prevent dipping into the red. we need a balance budget get greater jobs and the reason to hire. accomplishers to that today. >> the gentleman from california. >> thank you. this is my ninth and last year on this committee. i would like to make certain two points. saidimmer when dick cheney -- >> i remember when dick cheney said deficits didn't matter. the obama administration has taken that same tactic. deficits don't matter. in between those statements there was a time in which there was bipartisan agreement and
understanding that deficits do matter. they inhibit growth in the present. we know was going to happen today. we know what will happen with the budget issue. i hope that next year when i am not here, but most of you are, we get back to that bipartisan understanding that deficits matter. we will disagree on how to accomplish a balance budget. those disagreements and those arguments are worth having. to argue that somehow the deficits don't matter, and that we don't need to balance it, it is simply wrong. the second point, the entitlements. we have that people see in this witness chair from the left, right, and center for these nine years and save the entitlement spending is unsustainable. social security, medicare, the rest of them will not survive if we don't reform them. on which thereng
should be bipartisan agreement. maybe we disagree on how to reform them. not only should we reform them for their own sake, but increasingly these entitlements are squeezing out the spending priorities on both the right and left. that is something upon which we should be able to agree. we want agreed today. i hope we can set in place the building blocks to wear next year these things can be dealt with. i yield back. >> mr. mcclintock. we are but a skip order. in 2010, the chairman of the joint chiefs warned us the greatest threat to national security was our national debt. we have gone $4 trillion deeper in debt since he gave that warning. since inauguration day 2009,
this nation has piled up more new debt than we had acquired from the first day of the george washington administration into the third year of the george w. bush administration. we were told this would jumpstart the economy. it hasn't. instead it has deprived markets of the capital that went below to businesses seeking to expand jobs, to consumers seeking to make purchases, and homebuyers seeking to reenter the housing market. we know if you look beyond your means today you are going to have to live below your means in the future. that is the future we have created. balancing the budget and paying down the national debt is a security imperative. isn't -- it is a moral imperative. under chairman ryan's leadership the house is poised to pass the fourth budget any a role that will ultimately balance.
that stands in stark contrast to the president's budget that never balances and that condemns our nation to a debt borrow that will consume all of our future. it does so by reforming and reorganizing our social safety nets, preventing their bankruptcy, and restoring the financial foundations for the generations to come. time is not our ally. everything we delay, the problem becomes more intractable. the roback becomes more difficult and perilous. we are told by the ranking member not to bother. the senate and president will never agree to put our nation back on the road to solvency. that is true. i look forward to a day perhaps not long-lost when they will be willing partners to balance our budget and by doing so restore our nation's prosperity, security, and future. now we will hear 20 minute -- two minutes from the gentleman from tennessee.
>> might the president's budget, this budget is a serious proposal that balances our budget and helps our economy grow. we know that our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt. preserve this country for our grandchildren we must reform the way that washington works. everyone knows that medicare will soon go bankrupt. that is why i am happy that this futureproposed will save generations. by transitioning into a support it will strengthen medicare for younger generations. it repeals obamacare independent advisory board to help make sure our seniors get the care they deserve.
despite what some critics say, this does not eliminate traditional medicare. it ensures that americans will always have traditional medicare as an option. under this plan, every senior will have the support they need to get the care that they deserve. this reformtack without offering a credible alternative are complicit in medicare's demise. i want to commend chairman brian and my republican colleagues for leading where the president have failed. another, this country will have to address our out-of-control debts and deficits. thank you mr. chairman. i yield back. toat this time i would like yield to the german from wisconsin. >> want to thank you for having a market today. politicallyr partisan environment that we
live in, these are difficult decisions that have to be made. we have defined a way to do them . i am not exactly sure. he use the word bad. i might say tell. the longer we put off our decisions the longer we delay. i am in my fourth year in congress. we haven't made the moves to make the tough decisions. decisions that need to happen today have become worse decisions tomorrow. harder decisions. more difficult decisions. the next generation of americans. at some point, tough decisions have to be made. they are not going to be fun. whatreject the idea that has happened in the last couple of years has been austerity. debtlus billion dollar that we faced leicester would
have been among the worst in u.s. history. now it has been redefined as an austerity budget. which is a shocking capitulation of common sense in my opinion. it is an astounding thing to think of those terms. --i guess maybe you can make an argument on that way. but we haven't gone far enough. we have to move and make these decisions. every single person that comes us,our testifies, they tell they played with us to fix these things. i am proud that we are taking the step to fix them. with that, i yield back. yield to theke to german from texas. >> thank you. as a cpa, and a person accreted the energy jobs in
industry, there are two basic functions to budgeting. you make sure you set your expenses with your basic needs. with the reality that you are faced with, and you grow your income. this budget grows our national income in order to grow tax receipts. our budget deals head-on with both things. i want to discuss the latter. how to improve economic growth and improve revenue. the better ways to embracee the american energy revolution in the american manufacturing job renaissance. administration's
efforts to move us in a different way. thatve an energy bill passed on a bipartisan basis. forad support for everybody manufacturing companies to unions to energy companies. it reflects a real world way to get our economy going. america supports our vision of american security by 2020. our vision incorporates these. i hope we will move forward on doing these basic principles. i would like to have one additional comment. any budget based on real-world principles should not be called a fraud. i think that statement goes wall. the pay >> i would like to yield two minutes from the gentleman from indiana. com like to associate my ments with mr. campbell.
i think he was exactly right. , thiss what this budget is a restatement of the problems we're facing in the public sector in this country. number one, the deficits matter. number two, that 10,000 people a day are retiring into social entitlement programs that left unreformed are simply not sustainable. witness after witness from the left, right, center have explain it to us. the benefit of this budget and the reason to do it is that we continue to have this direct and honest conversation with the american people about what needs to be done. i will never forget the first time we introduced this budget. came 24 hours later.
was it a different idea? no. it was a commercial. , rather tall man characterizing me, but the man , pushing elderly person in a wheelchair off the cliff. that is what serves for the discussion. that ine can get beyond the budget. you can take all of the chairman money, and asyour long as people retire and unreformed systems, we will not have enough money to pay for this budget. we could take 100% of all people make and that will not solve the problem. i yield back. >> thank you. i would like to yield two minutes the gentlelady from
tennessee. >> thank you mr. chairman. i apologize for my tardiness. billve an internet freedom . i thank you for the work you have done. i join my colleagues in being concerned about what this obama economy is doing to our country. and theof the debt annual deficit, our children and grandchildren are being robbed of the economic freedom that is rooted in the american dream. it is the ultimate cap and trade. last year, cbo predicted the u.s. economy would grow on average by 2.9% each year over the next decade. now, they are predicting that is only going to be 2.5%. the economy is shrinking before our very eyes.
it is being wrapped in regular terry -- and regulatory red tape. budgetok at the analysis, only 63% of the american people have a job or looking for one. that is the lowest level since 1978. they are losing faith and trust in this economy. we can do better. this committee is showing the american people there is another way. a better way to move back to preserving the american dream. we don't have to accept the status quo that has brought us crushing debt,t, it comes choices when to health care. i like the fact that this would balance in 10 years, and strengthens programs like medicare by giving seniors, and
allowing seniors more choices and options over their health care. i yield back. >> thank you. i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia. >> i really do appreciate your leadership on this critical issue. the fact that many, and our conference has the courage and wisdom to boldly confront what is truly the most significant threat in our country. our fiscal trajectory. i want to thank the ranking member. appreciated the way he has approached this. to haved we didn't need this debate. i made the case that we did need to have this debate and did need to pass this resolution. it brings to the attention of the american people the clear contrast that i see between the
two parties. responsibly picked up the third rail of politics, mandatory spending. we have not done it with a good faith effort from our friends on the other side. i am proud of our work there. it seems to me there is a central theme that i often hear. , we spend more. i reject the premise. but we are doing here is because we care about every one of these areas from defense to job creation. we are more focused on growth. making sure that we open up our energy opportunities. 85% of the cosine of our country is closed off to exploration. there is a contrast today. i would ask my colleagues of both sides to support the resolution. i yield back.
>> thank you. i would like to yield to the gentlelady from missouri. >> thank you. missouri, myhrough constituents expressed their concern with a lack of priorities in washington, including not providing for the liken defense and concerns increased government spending and overregulation. our federal debt exceeds $17 trillion. this creates anxiety and uncertainty for all americans. as a member of the budget committee, i am proud to support a responsible budget that's up flies away from most -- a responsible budget, and provide a safer future. while the cut nearly 1/5 of our
defense resources, russia and china are arming at an alarming rate. russia's military spending is up 30%. china's has doubled. if we want to reverse this trend we must realign our national priority. build uponative we the recent compromise and further reverse the damage to our national security. >> we cannot ask our men and women in uniform to balance our budget. it is time to address the real drivers of our debt. seeing ion to reduce -- it encourages progrowth tax reform. we really youth hard-working americans from the burdens of obamacare.
i yield back. >> i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from indiana. >> i hear daily from hoosiers in the second district asking me to support policies that will create jobs and boost the economy. this commonsense budget resolution does just that. it promotes economic growth and creation. it moves our country toward energy independence. it rolls back federal red tape that has been stifling business expansion and growth. this protects seniors and low-income americans. protecting the programs for the americans who depend upon them. it provides state flexibility
and medicaid. it strengthens the work requirements and make structural reforms to medicare. this budget will defend -- whose .conomic mobility it supports a strong national defense. this budget provides the responsible plan for our economy. i urge my colleagues to support this budget. >> thank you. is, in today's economy, too many americans are struggling to find good jobs. paychecks are shrinking. the answer is simple. this economy isn't fostering the creation of enough good paying jobs. hard-working americans deserve a
healthy economy. everyone has a shot at a brighter future. that means tightening our belts, balancing the books, and making government live within its means. that means making sure the social safety net provides a hand up and not a handout. that means spending tax dollars more wisely. this budget resolution may be revolutionary to some, simply because it calls on congress to make choices. neither party has been good at that for quite a while now. that is why congress spends billions it doesn't have each year. exceeds $17our debt trillion. that is why medicare is going broke. there are no easy answers. there are simple ones. it have to prosperity -- the the to prosperity demand
choices being made. we can act now. so america controls its own destiny. and, follows a path of our choosing. or, we can kick the can down the road. mr. chairman, i am proud to support this budget resolution. it will help create genuine opportunities for people to find better paying jobs and improve their own lives. i yield back. >> thank you. two minutes to the german from south carolina. -- to the gentleman from south carolina. like the number one issue in my district, jobs. five years after the great recession, the economy continues to struggle. too many americans remain out of work. we can solve this problem. it is not rocket science. we can build our economy and put folks but to work if we will
take a few steps to make america more repetitive. the like countries across country compete for jobs, just , we states lower tax rates must adopt an attitude in washington that we will compete in the world. stop sending our jobs overseas and bring american jobs back home, if we retain the world's highest corporate tax rate, how can we expect to compete in the world? if washington continues to spend more money than we take in, threatening our entire economy, how can we expect to compete in the world? if we continue to build upon our already impressive regulatory burden, how can we expect to compete in the world? this is where my friends across the aisle miss the mark. somehow making the country competitive and if it's only the wealthy. the truth is, people with high
assets or high skills will do well in a global environment. they can compete from anywhere. the longer we wait to hear the global competition, the more we damaged hard-working people of the middle class. we will not grow our economy or put people back to work by expanding entitlements. if america will enter the global a for jobs, our economy will accelerate. the sky's the limit. decide to compete, no one can stop us. this is not republican or a democrat issue. this is an american issue. >> the gentleman from texas. >> i would like to echo what many have said and thank you for your tremendous work. washington can lead by example. everyone has to balance their families budget every single
day. the importance of balancing the budget is not lost on me. by cutting waste, fraud, and of abuse, the government can become a team player. by lowering taxes we will increase income and lower unemployment. we'll create a progrowth environment at will and like mine to expand. by expanding domestic energy, we help shrink we can the deficit. by balancing the budget we will rebuild a healthy economy. the importance of making sure the energy independence is more crucial now than it has ever been.
these are real jobs and good paying jobs. there in list. the pats prosperity will continue to open more federal lands to energy development that ever before. eric on the cannot continue to grow without reform. president obama has proposed more significant regulations in his first four years in previous administrations have in the last 15 years combined. regulations cost businesses 1.7 billion dollars per year. an additional 87 billion dollars in regulatory costs. these burdens will stifle competition and job creation. regulations,armful america's best days are ahead of us. i yield back. >> two minutes to the gentleman
from our home a -- from oklahoma . >> i applaud you for putting together this budget. i know from the meetings we have had on the side of the aisle there was a lot of thought put into hell he could maintain our commitment to fiscal balance giving the put into part by 17 million -- trillion national debt. it would have been very easy given the bipartisan budget act for 2015 to not do a budget. this budget allows us to share our visions for the future. i was disappointed to see the president reversed himself on removingt submission, change cpi from his proposal.
additionally, i am currently cap set in the bipartisan budget act for 2015 are included in this budget. as a member of the defense appropriations subcommittee i've seen the devastating cuts and strengthening capabilities we will continue to face if we continue with sequester. instead of going back to the well, with even more discretionary cuts, we have read haveden efforts -- we redoubled our efforts to make sure they are available to all in the future. i do not think the defense cuts are wise or sustainable. many have criticized this budget for moving the goal post and transitioning the premium support model for those 56 and below. we have to face facts. every year that we had not acted it becomes harder to prefer -- preserve the current system. this budget recognizes that hard reality.
i hope the budget serves as a wake-up call that it is time to act. i know in washington we can ecome and that's it ties -- this reflects the republican vision for our future, where we control our future. with that, i yield back my time. >> another oklahoman. >> thank you. this has been a combination of a tremendous amount of work. there are interesting conversations as they go through this. one is cbo comes out and sees a declining economy. .evenues fall that is showing the policies that have been put in place to this president are not turning
the economy around. we have to do something more aggressive. the focal point is getting it back to how do we balance our budget? how do we get economic activity working again? it is hard to believe how far we have fallen as a nation. when a conversation about balancing the budget becomes a controversial conversation. washington would be embarrassed basin the conversation. let me read from his farewell address. at the end of his two terms as president, avoid the accumulation of debt. occasionsy shunning of expense, but by vigorous exertions in times of peace that discharge the debt which unavoidable wars may have occasion. we have the responsibility to take this on. not continue to throw on our
prosperity the burdens we ought to bear. it will be wise for the committee to think about the words of our first president and the namesake of this town and consider how are we going to take responsibility for the burden of this generation. the have the highest amount of tax revenue ever in the history of the nation. ever. the economy continues to slow down. the galatians increase. let's get back to business. let's deal with the debt. i yield back. >> i yield two minutes the gentleman from mississippi. >> thank you. colleaguesmy former are wrapping up their session. they have set around and made difficult choices. families around america are doing what my wife and i did two decades ago when we came on tough times.
you sit around the kitchen table and may shed tears. you make those tough choices and you go home. those families, the legislators around the nation balancing their budgets for my the city and county governments have every reason to expect those of us in washington to do the same thing. with the fourth you're in a row, this committee has crafted a toughed budget and makes choices about how to control spending. -- path to prosperity seeks to highlight policies that will grow the economy. americans are unemployed. they also say we have 4 million jobs opening. the gap in these numbers is due to duplicate of workforce training.
by streamlining these programs we are not only achieving savings, but we enable workers and their job seekers to respond quickly and effectively to career challenges. in addition to reforming job-training programs, this budget makes long-term higher education reforms. toluding changes regulations. increasing the amount of time a student must attend class. i think it is imperative that we adopt this path to prosperity and put our nation back on a path we need to go. thank you. the think that wraps up opening comments from our members. i will consume our meeting time to wrap up and conclude. i think mr. mcclintock got it right.
, if you live beyond your means today, you're going to have to live below your teens tomorrow. we all know that is true. if we buy too much house and too much mortgage, we know that we are hurting ourselves in the future. here is our problem. this is a generational thing. we in this generation are living beyond our means. deficit, deficit, deficit. the debt is at $17 trillion. we are not going to have to pay this. our kids and grandkids are going have to pay this. we will live beyond our means today and the next generation will have to live below their means tomorrow. cbo says it clearly. we are guaranteeing lower living standards for the next-generation.
what cbo also tells us is the sooner you get on top of this problem the better off everybody's going to be. thesere we delay to fix fiscal problems, the uglier the solutions have to be. what we're saying. this is why we are doing a budget. we could have easily found it in this year. we have disagreement. the appropriators are biding their bills. that is a good thing. the power of the press is coming back to the house. we could've said we don't have to do it this year. thee do like the direction company is headed, and we don't, then we feel an obligation to say how we would do things differently. we think it is important to be persistent. this is the fourth year we have produced a budget. one that balances. one that shows how we would do it. left saidiend to my this is a bitter austerity budget. that is what you have if you don't fix this.
geter austerity is what you once a debt crisis hits. it austerity is what is going on in europe right now. it is we didn't fix this problem we had time to fix it. we did get ahead of our problems. now we have bitter austerity. are pulling the rug out of hundred people after they have retired. having social issues as a problem. and a slow economy. we are trying to preempt bitter austerity. member that class? had people telling us we would have a depression. how did this happen? what is going on? then we went through and found out this is what happened in the real estate market. this is what happened with mortgage-backed securities.
we know the rest of the story. the point i'm making is, that crisis caught us by surprise. that cost billions of dollars of wealth. this debt crisis is the most predictable one we've ever had. we see it. everybody knows this. cbo puts it in plain english and black and white. to keep whistling past? offering budgets that never balance? or are we going to get on top of our problems? at the end of the day, there is a difference of philosophy. that is good. that is what a two-party system is about. that is healthy. it will be nice if we can detoxify the rhetoric and try to
figure out how we get to the goal we are trying to get to. a prosperous country where everyone can get ahead. what we do in this budget is we ,eject this one-size-fits-all all communities and states are like, mindset. there is this bureaucracy that knows more. we reject this idea. we reject that premise. we reject the notion that measuring compassion, measuring our fight, measuring for good things should be only measured in how much money we spend. on inputs. why don't we think about measuring results? why do we think about measuring efforts based on outcomes? are we achieving our goals?
we have some very important principles i created this country. among those principles, we have a government that is by consent of the governed. i see a lot of young people in the back. high school? not yet? they don't consent to this. they haven't voted yet. is, we havem making to speak for people who cannot speak. we have to speak for people who want to have the american dream, who want this legacy of one generation leading a better country. they don't have a vote yet. woman take a look at these things we're trying to do, how we reform our entitlements, it is amazing how we do kind of have a consensus on health and retirement security. these are things we agree on to be provided. the government has an important role here.
we probably agree that government should not have the commanding role. we should not be conceding our consent to a bureaucracy. like how we get health care. our retirement. -- that people should be in the drivers seat. less thee they are any nucleus of the economy. andle, if given freedom opportunity, can make the most of their lives. that can be there idea of an american ideal. these are the things we are striving for. we will hear a lot of rhetoric. we will hear what i think is a view that looks at-and the economy as a static pie.
-- the pie of life is some fixed thing. it is a question of how we divide up a slice. we believe in growth. we believe in dynamism. we believe we ought to grow the pie so everyone can get a bigger slice. it is not a question of picking winners and losers. redistribute the pie. will hear a lot of rhetoric like we have heard in the past. 2011, the appropriations we had for that fiscal year was $1 trillion. draconian,nsidered unserious, and many other names. then we put together a bipartisan budget agreement that called for spending one trillion
we will get people back to work. we will get the deficit down. we will have more authority and faster growth. it is true you cannot cut your way to a balanced budget. government as it is currently -- aned needs to be bankrupt social security program by 2024, medicare, medicaid, and social security will consume 100% of all revenues. is outed them credit or -- far fewering people in the workforce. that is a problem. we tackle the
problem, the sooner we can move forward. i think we can think about the design of these programs can be an approved. . improved. how to focus -- that is what we are trying to accomplish. not just through the next generation. it will grow the economy and help create jobs. i yield back the remainder of my time.
moment that i a had been waiting for. the mantle of progress, there is precious little glory in defeat feet. -- we lose much time sight of the victory we share in this crown jewel. . celebrate ay to power that belongs not to any political party but to the people. -- notter the margin matter the margin. from bosnia to south africa, people laid down their lives for the kind of voice we take for granted. too often, the transfer of power n act of pain and carnage.
not one of peace and decency. hear inthe house, -- the house, longer than the any democracy in the we heed the people's voice with respect and friendship. -- you are respect now my speaker. let the great debate began. i now have the high honor and distinct privilege to present to the house of representatives our new speaker from georgia. [applause] >> more highlights from 35 years
of house floor coverage on our facebook age. -- page. to you by yourht local cable or satellite provider. >> the supreme court struck down limits on federal campaign contributions today. ae decision eliminates decision that had prohibited donors from giving more than $123,000 every two years. then we will bring you highlights from today's house budget markup. it just wrapped up to read later, -- it just wrapped up. later, testimony about the benghazi attacks. staff and armyf secretary will be on capitol hill tomorrow morning. they are expected to talk about
the fort hood shooter and today. they are scheduled to testify about the pentagon budget request. live coverage at 9:30 a.m. the supreme court struck down limits to the amount of money in individual can contribute to individual elections, ruling 5-4 that there are were limits are a violation of rights. here is the oral argument. from october.
>> mr. chief justice, and may it please the court -- bicker's aggregate contribution limits are an impermissible attempt to equalize the relative ability of individuals to participate in the political process. by prohibiting contributions that are within the modest base limits congress has already imposed to combat the reality or appearance of corruption, these limits simply seek to prevent individuals from engaging in too much first amendment activity. these limits cannot be justified on circumvention grounds because the concerns the government hypothesizes are already addressed by bicker's multitude of more direct anti-circumvention measures. >> how is that? >> because bicker imposes numerous direct circumvention measures. for instance, we have earmarking provisions on earmarking contributions for candidate. we have coordination restrictions on coordinated expenditures with a candidate. there are proliferation restrictions on creating
multiple pacs that are all designed. >> now, all these were there at -- but for one -- were there at the time of buckley vs. valeo, and i guess the court thought something could happen like the following -- candidate smith, we can only give him $2600, but he has a lot of supporters. and each of them, 40 of them gets a brainstorm. and each of the 40 puts on the internet a little sign that says, sam smith pac. this money goes to people like sam smith. great people. now, we can give each of those 40 $5,000. they aren't coordinated, they're not established by a single person. each is independently run. and we know pretty well that that total of $5,000 times 40 will go to sam smith.
okay? what does that violate? >> well, there's a couple problems with that hypothetical, your honor. first of all, there are base limits both on what can be given to a pac -- >> $5,000. >> and on what a pac can give to a candidate. >> $5,000. so we all have is my $5,000 going to the pac and there happened to be 400 pacs. so 5,000 times -- 4,000. five times 40, five times 400, how much is that? i'm not too good at math. [laughter] >> without doing the math, i will tell you that earmarking and proliferation restrictions -- >> no, no. there is no earmarking -- >> but -- but there's -- >> because earmarking requires that you write on a check or in an accompanying letter that you want the money to go to something. >> but actually it does not. >> it does not? >> earmarking -- the fec's earmarking regulations are broader than that. if you have a pac that is going to contribute only to one candidate, you're not -- >> no, no. they'll contribute to several because they'll get more than one contribution. >> and at that point, then you don't have the kind of traceability you're talking about because there is more money coming into the pac than
can find its way to any one particular candidate. >> i would think if you named the pac after a particular candidate as the hypothetical assumes, i would be surprised if the federal election commission wouldn't come after you for earmarking. >> that's -- that's exactly my point. >> well, let's say this one, -- >> let's say this one -- you have 100 pacs and each of them say that they're going to support the five contest -- the five candidates in the most contested senate races. there are really only five very contested senate races, and 100 pacs say that they're going to support those five candidates. so a donor gives $5,000 to each of those 100 pacs which support those candidates, the pac divides up the money, $1,000 goes to each candidate. the total, all those pacs, $100,000 goes to each of the -- of the senate candidates in the five most contested races, 20 times what the individual contribution limits allow. >> a couple of responses to that, your honor. i mean, first of all, we're
talking about scenarios where there isn't coordination at all between the first person who makes a contribution and the candidate later on that's receiving it. >> this candidate knows all of his $100,000 donors. there are not all that many of them. he can keep them all in his head in a mental rolodex. >> but they're not actually donors to him at that point. >> i don't think it works to think of these as direct contributions in excess of the base limits because the pac is limited itself in how much it can contribute, so you would have to have -- >> all we're trying to do, because it's hard to do in oral argument. but what we're trying to do in both, i think, our cases is that
we looked up all the rules and the regs -- or my law clerk did -- and -- and what she discovered, and it may be wrong because i'll look at it again, is there has been no significant change in the earmarking rules, in any of the rules that you're talking about, but for one, change since buckley. the one change, the one change is the change that all contributions made by political committees established by or financed or maintained or controlled by a single person will count as one. so what you're seeing in these hypotheticals is simply the construction of precisely the same situation that existed in buckley while being careful to have not one person control the 4,000 pacs, which is pretty easy to do. and if you want to say, is this a reality? turn on your television set or internet. because we found instances, without naming names, where it certainly is a reality. >> two responses. there are changes in earmarking,
more than what you've suggested because the restrictions that the fec has put out in regulations are -- are -- they cover more than the statute itself. and specifically, they cover these instances of a pac that is only going to be contributing to one candidate, which is where a lot of the concern comes from. >> i just want to be clear what your answer to justice kagan was, her hypothetical. is -- is part of your answer that this might -- the hypothetical that she gives -- contravene earmarking? or -- >> that's part -- it can pose both earmarking concerns and proliferation concerns if we're talking about something. and if we're talking about a pac that's -- >> so is part of your answer to her there that the hypothetical isn't real or isn't going to happen or -- >> yes, i think -- >> or can't happen under the existing law? is that your answer? >> that's part of the answer. don't think it's a particularly realistic scenario under existing regulations. >> would the other side concede that this is true?
>> i -- i doubt they would concede that it's true. but, you know, i think that if you look at it, if you have a bunch of pacs that are getting contributions from this same group of individuals, you are going to run into earmarking and proliferation restrictions. but the other thing i would say -- >> i can't imagine that if you have a pac which says we're going to give money to smith, that's bad, but if you have a pac that says we're going to give all the money that you contribute to us to smith and jones, that's okay. or smith, jones and three others. it seems to me that that's earmarking. >> exactly. it's an earmarking restrictions if you know that your contributions -- >> if you think it's earmarking that have a pac that gives money to the five most -- the candidates in the five most contested senate races, i just don't think any fec would say that that's earmarking. >> well, i may have an overly suspicious mind, but i don't know. if i saw 100 pacs rise up and all of them said exactly the same thing, we're going to make contributions to the five most
contested senate -- the candidates in the five most contested senate races, i would be suspicious. and maybe the fec would also be suspicious that they didn't just all spring up independently. >> i think that's absolutely right. i think the fec would be suspicious, but -- >> well, suppose -- suppose a number of pacs -- i forget the number in justice kagan's example -- said we're going to give to congressional and senatorial candidates who want to cut down on governmental spending. and we know there's only about four people that are like that. >> well -- [laughter] >> i mean, at that point, i think, you know, that -- that when you have a pac that's not saying to any certainty what they're going to do, then you don't -- it's not clear you have something to target there, because the pac might be spending money in different ways that are not operating as a conduit to -for circumvention. so, you know, i think that gets again to why this doesn't have the kind of coordination you need. >> can i give another one? there are 150 house candidates
with completely safe seats, all right? and there are maybe, you know, 30 or 40 or something like that in their party who don't have safe seats. so the 150 gets together and they say we're going to run a joint fundraiser. and anybody can contribute $2600 to each of these candidates, 150 of them, right? so that makes about $400,000. and then these 150 candidates with completely safe seats just transfer all this money to the one person who doesn't have a safe seat. so that's about $400,000. double it for a primary and a general election, that's about $800,000 that all goes to one candidate from one donor because of the ability for candidates to transfer money to each other. >> that is not legal, justice kagan. the candidates do not have the ability to transfer money to each other. they only have -- >> a candidate can transfer a
maximum of $2600 to another candidate per election. >> a candidate can transfer $2,000 to a candidate per election. and that's a contribution -- >> i stand corrected on the basis of $600. >> that's a hard contribution limit on how much they can contribute. but -- but i think all of this also gets to another problem, which is there's an overbreadth problem here. because if -- if you're talking about this scenario, in your scenario, there's only one person who can even make a contribution at that point after the first $2600 is received. >> you're exactly right. you're exactly right, -- >> one person could make an $800,000 contribution to a house race, where $800,000 goes a long way. and then what these 150 candidates can do is they can do it for every single other candidate in a contested seat. so take your 30 or 40 house contested seats and it becomes a conduit for a single person to make an $800,000 contribution to a candidate in a contested district. >> i think even if you accept
this scenario where all of these candidates are independently deciding to give all their money to one candidate, you can't have a law that is designed to prevent this one person from circumvention by prohibiting everybody else from engaging in contributions that don't on the "everyone else," can you give us an idea of whose expression is at stake? i mean, most people couldn't come even near the limit. so what percentage -- is there any information on what percentage of all contributors are able to contribute over the aggregate? >> i don't have a percentage on how many are able. i mean, we aren't talking about a large number of individuals. we certainly are talking about more individuals than whose first amendment rights were implicated by the provision at issue in davis, for example. >> i assume that a law that only -- only prohibits the speech of
2 percent of the country is okay. >> absolutely not. >> oh, it isn't? >> we haven't talked yet about the effect of the aggregate limits on the ability of donors to give the minimum amount to as many candidates as they want. the effect of the aggregate limits is to limit someone's contribution of the maximum amount to about 9 candidates, right? >> that's right. if you're talking about a general -- >> is there a way to eliminate that aspect while retaining some of the aggregate limits? in other words, is that a necessary consequence of any way you have aggregate limits? or are there alternative ways of enforcing the aggregate limitation that don't have that consequence? >> well, it's certainly a necessary consequence of bcra's scheme in which there's a distinct aggregate limit on contributions to candidates alone. i think, though, aggregate limits in general are always going to have this effect of prohibiting people from giving
contributions that don't themselves give rise to quid pro quo corruption concerns. and that's why if the government is really concerned about the things it's talking about, there are narrower avenues to get at them. if the concern is joint fundraising committees, you could have -- >> i'm a little confused, okay? i'm confused because we're talking in the abstract. this decision was based on a motion to dismiss. and there is a huge colloquy about what happens and doesn't happen. we don't have a record below. >> well -- >> i mean, i can go into the news, as -- >> suggested. it's very hard to think that any candidate doesn't know the contributor who has enough money to give not only to himself or herself, but to any of his or her affiliates who are supporting him or her. i mean, it's nearly common sense, hard to dispute. so you're saying it can't happen, but i don't see charges
of coordination going on that much. >> i guess i'm not sure what you're talking about happening. i mean, if you're just talking about knowing that some individuals are making contributions to other candidates or state parties who are not going to share those contributions with a particular candidate, then i don't see how that -- or gives rise to any corruption or circumvention concern. >> here is the actual ad, the actual ad. i won't name the candidate. you see a picture of the candidate. there is a sign that says "smith pac." that's what it says. and then it says, "make a donation to help smith pac support republican," if you like, or "democratic candidates." period. and then they have an address. all right. now, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what they're going to do with the money and that maybe smith will get a pretty good share of it. now, if smith has 400 people who figure this out, he will have 400 times 5,000 times one
person. now, you say that really couldn't happen because of the designation. we haven't found a designation rule that would stop it. but then justice sotomayor is saying -- i don't know. and i don't either, because there's been no hearing, there's been no evidence presented. there is nothing but dismissal. >> two points, your honor. first of all, the case was brief on cross-motion for injunctive relief. so the government had an opportunity to make a record and it chose to treat this as a legal case, not as one in which -- >> do -- do we need a record to figure out issues of law? >> and that's my second point. really, this is -- >> no, no. i agree. [laughter] >> i agree -- i agree that -that this campaign finance law is so intricate that i can't figure it out. it might have been nice to have the, you know, the lower court tell me what the law is. but we don't normally require a record to decide questions of law. >> and you shouldn't need one here either because these limits are facially over- and
under-inclusive. they're not closely tailored and evidence can't -- >> you're taking a position -- you're taking a position that the law stops corruption. and you're suggesting that the government is incapable of showing facts that the law doesn't work? >> i'm suggesting that -- >> as it is? don't you need facts to prove that or disprove that proposition? >> even if the government could prove that proposition, there would still be an overand under-breadth problem. if i may, i'd like to reserve the remainder of my time. >> thank you, counsel. mr. burchfield. >> mr. chief justice, may it please the court -- senator mcconnell agrees that this aggregate limit does not pass exacting scrutiny. senator mcconnell believes that all restrictions of this nature should be reviewed under strict scrutiny. to begin with, this is a severe restriction on political speech.
>> mr. burchfield, i'd like you to address this question about the restriction on speech. it has been argued that these limits promote expression, promote democratic participation, because what they require the candidate to do is, instead of concentrating fundraising on the super-affluent, the candidate would then have to try to raise money more broadly in the electorate. so that by having these limits you are promoting democratic participation, then the little people will count some, and you won't have the super-affluent as the speakers that will control the elections. >> your honor, i disagree with that, for this reason. first of all, this limit, the aggregate limit on political parties, places like-minded political parties in the
position of competing against each other rather than collaborating against each other. all the national political parties on the republican side and the state political parties compete against each other for an artificially limited pool of money from each contributor. the same is true on the candidate side. they compete against each other for the same artificially limited pool of money, even though each individual contribution to the candidate or to the party is limited by the base limits. the federal election commission regulations -- andi would -- i would propose that you look at section 110.1[h], which specifically prohibits a pac of the nature you describe. if a person contributes to a pac with knowledge his contribution is going to a particular candidate, that is an earmark under the -- under the precedents of the federal election commission. >> counsel, is it -- is it correct that the consequence of this provision has been very severe with respect to national political parties?
>> it is, your honor, particularly in the current environment where the national political parties are -- are being marginalized by outside forces. >> and -- and much of the money that used to go to them now goes to pacs; isn't that what has happened? >> exactly right, your honor. >> so that this is really, you know, turning the dials on -- on regulating elections. now, i ask myself, why would -- why would members of congress want to hurt their political parties? and i answer -- i answer to myself [laughter] >> well, ordinarily, the national political parties will devote their money to elections in those states where the incumbent has a good chance of losing. so, in fact, if you're an incumbent who cares about political parties, i don't want money to go to my opponents. and if you -- if you turn down the amount of money that the
national political parties have, that's that much less money that can be devoted against you if you're challenged in a close race. isn't that the consequence of this? >> let me see you and raise you one. there are separate limits here, your honor, for candidates and for political parties. the effect of this is to insulate the incumbents from competing with the political parties for the dollars. and by imposing a cap on the candidate -- on the amount candidates can raise, the incumbents realized that they're the favored class among -- among candidates who are going to be getting the contributions. >> what a surprise. >> has it worked out that way in practice? has it worked out? because there was one brief at least saying no, that -- that that's wrong. in fact, it's the challengers who are aided. >> well, your honor, i think it is -- it is -- there's a hard cap on the number any contributor can give to all candidates, and a separate cap on the amount that contributor can give to all party
committees. >> so -- so i read in one 21 i spent several weeks reading the record before the district court in that very lengthy case on this. and it was filled with testimony by senators and congressmen that a handful of people can give hundreds of thousands of dollars, they know who those people are, and that those people do have undue influence, which means in first amendment terms that the individual who, in fact, has wonderful ideas and convinces others, even by paying three cents to buy the internet or something, hasn't a shot because it will influence people, not ideas, but the money. now, there was a record on that. here there is no record showing whether this aspect does or does not have the same tendency. that is why i ask -- how can i decide this on the basis of theory when the record
previously showed the contrary of what's been argued, and in fact at least might show that even in respect to these limits? >> well, your -- your honor, this case comes to the court as an as-applied challenge. mr. mccutcheon does not want to go through -- does not want to go through the committees you're talking about. he wants to write checks directly to the candidates and directly to the committees. he is constrained by the aggregate limit. >> but he can -- he can write checks to everyone that he wants to write checks to. it's just he can't give his special number of 1776. >> if -- if he wanted to give a contribution to every candidate running for a federal congressional seat, congressional and senate, he would be limited to $86 or some number like that. >> in his own case, it would be something over $1,000, right? because he identified 12 more candidates that he'd like to give 1776 to. but he could give each of them over $1,000. >> your honor, he could.
but again, you're -- you're diminishing his right to associate and the intensity of his association by applying this aggregate limit. >> mr. burchfield, if you take off the aggregate limits, people will be allowed, if you put together the national committees and all the state committees and all the candidates in the house and the senate, it comes to over $3.5 million. so i can write checks totalling $3.5 million to the republican party committees and all its candidates or to the democratic party committees and all its committees even before i start writing checks to independent pacs. now, having written a check for million dollars to a single party's candidates, are you suggesting that that party and the members of that party are not going to owe me anything, that i won't get any special treatment? because i thought that that was exactly what we said in mcconnell, that when we talked about soft money restrictions, we understood that you give $3.5
million, you get a very, very special place at the table. so this is effectively to -- to reintroduce the soft money scheme of mcconnell, isn't it? >> no. no, your honor, it is absolutely not, because mcconnell dealt with the situations where there were -- you were not considering the base limits. the soft money by definition was not subject to the base limits. to take your example of the joint fundraising committee, the joint fundraising regulation, which consumes more than three pages in the -- in the federal code of federal regulations -- it's at 102.17[c] -- it specifically reaffirms the base limits. it specifically reaffirms the anti-earmarking restriction, and it says that the joint fundraising committee must inform all contributors of those restrictions. so, again, it's the situation where the money leaves the contributor's hands, he loses control over it, and the person who receives it makes the 24 the money goes to a single party. and indeed, i could make this even worse. i could say, let's say the speaker of the house or the majority leader of the house
solicits this money from particular people. so solicits somebody to ante up his $3.6 million. and then, you know, justice kennedy said in mcconnell the making of a solicited gift is a quid both to the recipient of the money and to the one who solicits the payment. so the speaker, the majority leader, can solicit $3.6 million to all the party members and you're telling me there's just no special influence that goes along with that? >> well, we know from the citizens united decision, your honor, that gratitude and influence are not considered to be quid pro quo corruption. so i think that's what you're talking about. that is not the sort of corruption that would sustain this limit, especially in light of the severe restrictions on speech and association that it imposes as the political parties compete against each other and as they -- and as -- as the candidates have to compete against each other. >> in buckley, the court sustained -- sustained aggregate limits.
what has changed since buckley? >> your honor, the -- the statute has changed significantly to impose base limits on the parties, to impose on both the state and -and federal parties. it has changed to prohibit proliferation of political committees. one of the concerns in buckley was the dairy industry, which contributed to hundreds of pacs supporting president nixon's re- election. that is no longer possible. >> those were all created by the dairy industry or by the nixon campaign, is that correct? >> that's not -- as i understand as i read the lower court decision in buckley, that is correct. in addition, you also have -- you also have a thick volume -- >> then how is it that -- >> in addition, you also have -- you also have a thick volume -- you have a thick volume of the code of federal regulations of the federal election commission, which did not exist at the -- -- >> general verrilli. >> mr. chief justice, and may it please the court -- aggregate limits combat corruption. let me start by explaining exactly how.
aggregate limits combat corruption both by blocking circumvention of individual contribution limits and, equally fundamentally, by serving as a bulwark against a campaign finance system dominated by massive individual contributions in which the dangers of quid pro quo corruption would be obvious and inherent and the corrosive appearance of corruption would be overwhelming. now, the appellants in this case have tried to present the case as though the issue were whether there were some corrupting potential in giving contribution to the nineteenth candidate after someone has already contributed to -- the maximum to the eighteenth. but that is not what this case is about. the appellants are not arguing that the aggregate limit is drawn in the wrong place. they are arguing that there can be no aggregate limit because the base contribution limits do all the work. and so what that means is that you -- you're taking the lid off the aggregate contribution limit and, as justice kagan and her
question earlier indicated, that means that an individual can contribute every two years up to $3.6 million to candidates for a party, party national committees and state committees -- >> that's because they can transfer the funds among themselves and to a particular candidate. is the possibility of prohibiting those transfers perhaps a way of protecting against that corruption appearance while at the same time allowing an individual to contribute to however many house candidates he wants to contribute to? i mean, the concern is you have somebody who is very interested, say, in environmental regulation, and very interested in gun control. the current system, the way the anti-aggregation system works, is he's got to choose. is he going to express his belief in environmental regulation by donating to more than nine people there?
or is he going to choose the gun control issue? >> so, mr. chief justice, i want to make two different points in response to that question. the first is that restricting transfers would have a bearing on the circumvention problem. >> it wouldn't eliminate all circumvention risk, but would have a bearing on that problem. but there is a more fundamental problem here. it's a problem analogous to the one that was at issue with soft money in mcconnell, which is the very fact of delivering the $3.6 million check to the whoever it is, the speaker of the house, the senate majority leader, whoever it is who solicits that check, the very fact of delivering that check creates the inherent opportunity for quid pro quo corruption, exactly the kind of risk that the court identified in buckley, wholly apart from where that money goes after it's delivered. but the delivery of it -- >> what is the framework -- what is the framework for analyzing -- i agree with you on the aggregation, but it has this consequence with respect to
limiting how many candidates an individual can support within the limits that congress has said don't present any danger of corruption? so what is the framework for analyzing that? give you your argument with respect to the transfers and the appearance there, but it does have that other consequence on something we've recognized as a significant right. so -- >> let me make a specific point about that and then work into the framework. the specific point is this -- the aggregate limit would have the effect of restricting the ability of a contributor to make the maximum contribution to more than a certain number of candidates. that's true. we can't help but acknowledge that. it's math. but that doesn't mean that that individual cannot spend as much as the individual wants on independent expenditures to try to advance the interest of those candidates or the interests or the causes that those candidates stand for. mr. mccutcheon, for example, can spend as much of his considerable fortune as he wants
on independent expenditure advocating the election of these candidates. >> and that does not -- that does not evoke any gratitude on the part of the people? i mean, if gratitude is corruption, you know, don't those independent expenditures evoke gratitude? and is -- is not the evil of big money -- 3.2 million, an individual can give that to an independent pac and spend it, right? >> the foundation -- -- -- >> it's not that we're stopping people from spending big money on politics. >> the foundation of this court's jurisprudence in this area is the careful line between independent expenditures, which this court has held repeatedly do not create a sufficient risk of quid pro quo corruption to justify their regulation, and contributions which do. >> wait. that -- that -- >> so we're not talk -- >> that line eliminates some of the arguments that have been made here, which are arguments
against big money in politics. there -- big money can be in politics. the thing is you can't give it to the republican party or the democratic party, but you can start your own pac. that's perfectly good. i'm not sure that that's a benefit to our political system. >> well, i do think we have limits on contributions to political parties in addition to limits on contributions to candidates. and i think that does help establish the point here, which is that candidates are not hermetically sealed off from each other, and parties are not hermetically sealed off from candidates. they -- you know, they're all on the same team. and we limit the amount that an individual can contribute to a political party as well as the amount that an individual can contribute to candidates. >> that actually does very much while i don't -- i'm looking for an answer here. it's not that i have one at all. it is rather basic, the point i think that's being made now. i mean, as i understand it, the whole reason -- it is no doubt that campaign limits take an
ordinary person and they say -- you cannot give more than such- and-such an amount. there are apparently, from the internet, 200 people in the united states who would like to give $117,000 or more. we're telling them -- you can't; you can't support your beliefs. that is a first amendment negative. but that tends to be justified on the other side by the first amendment positive, because if the average person thinks that what he says exercising his first amendment rights just can't have an impact through public opinion upon his representative, he says -- what is the point of the first amendment? and that's a first amendment point. all right. so that's basic, i think. now, once that's so, congress has leeway. and you are saying, and i have seen all over the place, that that's why we don't want those 200 people to spend more than 117- or 120,000 because the average person thinks the
election is -- after the election all the actions are affected by the pocketbook and not by the merits of the first amendment arguments. okay. and now you say the person can do the same thing anyway; just call it independent. and what independent does, he can spend 40 million. he can spend 50 million. and all that does is sort of mix up the messages because the parties can't control it. now, that's, i think, the question that's being asked. and i think that that is a very serious question, and i'd like to know what flows from it. is it true? so what? what are we supposed to do? what is your opinion about that question? >> and i have the same question. you have two -- two persons. one person gives an amount to a candidate that's limited. the other takes out ads, uncoordinated, just all on his own, costing $500,000. don't you think that second person has more access to the candidate who's -- when the candidate is successful, than
the first? i think that was at the root of justice scalia's question and -- >> let me try to answer this with an analogy, if i could, justice kennedy. i think the right way to think about it is if somebody thinks the secretary of defense is doing a great job, they can take out an ad in the washington post, spend $500,000 on that ad saying -- the secretary of defense has done a great job. and -- and they would have an undoubted first amendment right to do that. no one could think that there's a content -- it's hard to imagine a content-neutral justification for prohibiting that speech. but if instead the person wanted to express their symbolic -- >> what if boeing does it? mean, you know -- >> i still think -- >> you think no problem? >> that would be an independent expression. but if, instead, somebody wanted to express symbolically their view that the secretary of defense has done a great job by giving the secretary of defense a maserati, nobody would think that there was a first amendment ground that could be -- that could be invoked. >> but we are talking here about
we're talking here about campaign contributions. isn't it illegal for a candidate to take campaign contributions and use it to buy a maserati? >> we -- yes, it is, but the point -- >> well, i don't see how that really gets to the point. >> but -- it get -- i think it does, if i may, justice alito, because i think that the point is that the -- that the rule against gifts, the conflict of interest rules, they exist to advance a content-neutral government interest of the highest importance. >> what troubles me about your what troubles me about your argument, general verrilli, and about the district court's opinion is that what i see are wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible or -- and lack, certainly lack any empirical support. now, you've -- you've chosen to use the same hypothetical the
district court used about the $3.5 million contribution that would be -- that could be given by a coordinate -- which involves all of the house candidates and all of the senate candidates in a particular year getting together with all of the all of the parties' national party committees, plus all of the state party committees, and then -- and that's how you get up to the $3.5 million figure; isn't that right? >> yes. >> now, how -- how realistic is
realistic is it that all of the state party committees, for example, are going to get money and they're all going to transfer it to one candidate? for 49 of them, it's going to be and there are virtually no instances of state party committees contributing to candidates from another state. and the other part of it that seems dubious on its face is that all of the party -- all of the candidates for the house and the senate of a particular party are going to get together and they are going to transfer money to one candidate. there really -- you cited in your brief the example -- best examples, i take it, of -- of contributions from some candidates to other candidates. they are very small. isn't that true? >> yes. but i think there are two -- justice alito, i think that, with all due respect, i think the point your honor is making confuses two different ways in which these laws combat the risk of corruption. the first one is that the -- the handing over of the large check, and whether it's a $3.6 million check for everyone or a $2.2 million, or a $1 million check for all the state committees, the very -- just as the court found in mcconnell with respect to massive soft money contributions and the inherent risks of -- of corruption there, there's an inherent risk of
corruption. and that's why indeed, as i said, we have limits on how much we can contribute to a political party for that reason -- >> well, i don't understand that. >> the way these fund-raising committee's work is that you handover a check, give to the rest of my team. that is handing over the check to that candidate, a create significant risk of indebtedness on the are of the candidate. party leaders are going to be the ones that solicit those contributions have particular indebtedness to candidates because of their power and authority depending on the party retaining or getting a majority in the legislature. they're going to feel indebtedness that this person is helping only them but everyone. >> the third point is that every candidate and party is going to be affected by this because every candidate is going to get
a slice of the money, and every candidate is going to know that this person who wrote the check has helped not only the candidate but the old team, and that creates indebtedness. every member of the party is likely to be leaned on by the party leadership. >> the limits might stand or fall together. take this example and walk me through this step by step. we have somebody who wants to corrupt member of the house. this person strategy is to make contributions to multiple house candidates with the hope that the expectation of a plan those candidates are going to transfer the money to the member that this person wants to corrupt. how was that person going to accomplish that, given the emerging regulations and the limits on how much one member can contribute to another? >> i think it is possible.
if somebody had that goal, that circumvention goal, a better way of achieving it would be giving significant contributions to state parties and national parties were free to transfer money among themselves without restriction, and by making contributions to pacs. >> if you're not going to defend in that situation, these are -- >> i think it could happen in that situation. it is more than likely to happen. >> explained to be how it is going to be done. >> the person gives to person a in the hopes it will give to member b. that person wanted to go to be. that is earmarked. how is it going to be done?
>> ear marking is not the outer limit of the governments ability to regulate here. a lot of this can be done through winks and nods. i do not think it is a case where earmarking would limit that. they keep the circumstantial and -- -- >> what would you think? listening to your dialogue, this is tough. we construct hypotheticals, and the counsel says we have this part wrong or that are wrong. we cannot do this, figuring out these factual things in an hour. i am not sure.
there hasn't been a full hearing. it seems there are things to explore and respect the circumvention. who is right? there are things to explore and respect to the question of whether being able to write a $3.6 million check to a bout of people does lead -- leave the average person to think my first minute speech in terms of influencing my representative means nothing. there are things to explore in terms of the relationship between what is permissible, $40 million spent independently, and what isn't. none of these have been considered. they would seem relevant. what do you think about going into these matters in a district court where the evidentiary aspects of them can be explored at some length? >> i think that the statute can be upheld under the current
state of the record. i understand and i take your honor's point. i do think you have a substantial record, and that bears on the question of whether massive aggregate contributions pose the inherent danger of corruption and the corrosive appearance of corruption. >> the government didn't suggest in response to the -- [inaudible] both sides [indiscernible] there was this point made that if this does, it draws
contributions towards the pacs, and away. the money would flow to the candidates, to the party organizations, but it is going to pacs. what is your response to that? >> we take the constitutional first amendment framework as a given. the court has determined that an dependent expenditures do not prevent a risk of would grow quote -- quid pro quo. >> the question says, given that it is the law, is in the
consequence of this particular provision to set the vitality of political parties, and encourage drive-by pacs for each election? >> the answer is we do not know if that is the consequence. with all the respect, they raise and spend substantial amounts of money. beyond that, what the congress has determined is that there is a risk of corruption, as regulated with respect to that. congress is free to keep the into consideration. >> $3.5 million. someone who gives the maximum to every possible candidate and party he can contribute to, $3.5 million, with an perspective.
how much money is spent by political parties and pacs and all elections? in one election cycle. >> that is a good point. take the 2010 elections. each party spent $1.5 billion. >> what about pacs? >> i do not have the specifics. what about newspapers that spend money endorsing candidates? you have to put in that money. that is money that it starts to political speech. i do not think $3.5 million is a lot of money? >> i do not think that is the right way to look at it. if you think a party has to get
one point $5 billion together to run a congressional campaign, then you have a maximum of $3.6 million, that is 450 people you need to round up to fund the whole thing. that is part of the problem. you are creating a situation where you take off the aggregate limits in which there is a real risk that both the government will be run by those people, and that the public will perceive that the government is run by and for those people. that is why we have these limits. >> the consequence is just to get back to my prior question, you are telling someone who doesn't want to give $3.4 million, but wants to contribute to more than nine candidates, you are telling him that he can't make that contribution
however modest within the limits congress has said does not present a corruption to attend candidate. i appreciate the argument you are making for the aggregate limits pre-understand that. what you do with the flipside? you can't pretend it is pursued with a first minute cause. it seems to be a direct restriction on a much smaller contribution that do not present a point of corruption. >> i take that point. the analytical framework of the first amendment is to think about this in terms of neutrality. the government's interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption. it is content neutral. >> that is a normally get you very far on the first amendment.
the post or the new york times can only endorse nine candidates. it is completely content neutral. that limit would not be -- >> that would be a content-based justification. you're not trying to prevent the appearance of corruption by doing that. with the respect elected officials and the giving of money to elected officials, there is this content neutral justification. yes, it is not first amendment costs. that cost is mitigated. >> is there any way to prevent the concern you have about the 3.5 million dollar check without imposing the limit on the person he wants to support 10 candidates?
>> you could calculate inaccurate tabulation than the one that is here now. the problem that is that the pellets are making that argument. the only argument they have made is that you cannot have aggregate limits. the argumentaking that the regulations that exist about transfers from one entity to the other prevent a lot of what you are worried about. if they are not sufficient, they could be bolstered. the aggregate is that wrong? there's nothing more they can be done to prevent transfers from and joined committees or from one member to another or state parties to candidates?